Rosie Frihart

  • Hosted by Children's Law Center of California
  • Sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, LLP
  • Service location Los Angeles, California
  • Law school University of Southern California Gould School of Law
  • Issue area Children/Youth
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Rosie ensures foster youth with developmental disabilities receive the state services to which they are entitled by acting as a legal advocate for those children and training other attorneys to do the same.

Individuals in California who have certain developmental disabilities are entitled to state-funded services through non-profits called “Regional Centers.” Despite this entitlement, children who are involved in the foster care system often do not receive the services to which they are entitled. Foster children need a specialized legal advocate to successfully navigate the complicated Regional Center system, but many do not have a caregiver able to seek the necessary legal assistance.

As a former teacher, Rosie saw first-hand the powerful impact that appropriate services can have on the lives of children who have disabilities. As a law student, Rosie came to understand the unique barriers that prevent foster children from accessing appropriate services.

Fellowship Plans

Rosie will address this problem first by advocating for foster children with developmental disabilities in Regional Center services meetings and administrative appeals. She will also provide Regional Center training and support to dependency attorneys at her host organization, the Children’s Law Center of California. Finally, Rosie will create and supervise a pro bono program so that other attorneys can provide Regional Center advocacy to children in foster care.

Foster children with developmental disabilities are perhaps our most vulnerable population. Not only do these children have developmental disabilities, but many have also suffered the trauma of abuse, neglect, and removal from the only home they have ever known.

Rosie Frihart /
2020 Equal Justice Works Fellow

Meet Other Fellows Like Rosie

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Ashley Ortagus

Host: Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, Inc.

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP, The Florida Bar Foundation

Lauren Zack

Host: Public Counsel

Sponsor: Latham & Watkins LLP, Spotify

Current Fellow

Mary Bissell

Mary Bissell

Host: Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia

Jaynie Leung

Host: Children's Law Center of Minnesota

Sponsor: Robins Kaplan LLP